There are few things that make me happy these days. A childs laughter; The smell of freshly cut grass; The satisfaction at the end of a hard days work; The feel of rubber sheets and a ball gag. But one thing guaranteed to perk me up like a toddler with a trumpet (from experience, the toddler is very perky. The parent, not so) is the news that Flavourly have dispatched this months beer box.
Firstly, lets get a few words of thanks in here. Its not to the Flavourly bods, feverishly working in their warehouse, selecting the finest beers every month to regale me with (although, Thanks anyway!). It's not even to the legions of craft brewers around the world, who are probably also working feverishly (note: can someone get me a thesaurus for Christmas? Running out of good adverbs here) to make the beer (although, again: Thanks). SO, actually, it is a few words of thanks to both of those groups of people. Sigh. Lets start this again, yeah?
So I'd like to thank the bods at Flavourly and the craft brewers of the world, without whom, I'd be severely lacking in the beer department this week. I'd ALSO like to thank the nice Royal Mail postman for making the delivery possible yesterday. "What does the postman have to do with a beer article?" I hear you ask? (I have good hearing). Well, after receiving the email saying the beer was on its way, I received ANOTHER email telling me that it had been delivered to a neighbour. Now, me being a bit anti-social, this came as a bit of a conundrum. It'd mean making small talk, while at the door of a neighbour I barely know, having only moved house recently. They'd probably see the Flavourly logo on the box and feign interest. In short, it would be brutal.
I needn't have worried though, thanks to the jolly old postman. For you see, the postmen round our way are canny bunch, sharp as tacks and ever helpful (I have to be nice here - my brother is a postman and I used to be one many, many years ago). My postman, in particular, must be a God among us mere mortals though. Instead of delivering the box to a neighbour, thus leaving me in a pickle, he had used the old noggin and left it in the tent round the back garden. "Which tent?" you ask. This tent...
So, Mr Postman. Pat, if you will. Thank you for your ingenuity, without which, I wouldn't be writing to you all just now about The Best Day This Month (So Far). A day known (by me) as Flavourly Day.
So, back on track. What is Flavourly?
Flavourly, is one of those craft beer clubs - of which there are many - that appear to have sprouted up all over the place since this apparent 'craft beer revolution' began (I will probably rant about the term 'craft beer revolution' at some point, but not now...). You may have seen them listed on your Facebook feed. You may have received a flyer in the post. You may even have an annoying pal with a bushy beard, glasses and long hair that bangs on about them all the time.
Basically, it comes down to this; you sign up for the service, probably with a decent discount off your first order and they send you a selection of beers every month. Actually, that isn't even a basic description of it - that IS it.
So every month you get some beers, which ones you won't know until you open the box. Its a bit like Christmas, if your idea of a perfect Christmas is a box of beer, delivered to your door. So, exactly like MY idea of Christmas then.
I've been a member of Flavourly for a few months now. I was a member of Beer52 for a while as well. Is Flavourly better than Beer52? They're... basically the same thing, to be honest. I'm not even convinced that they AREN'T the same thing. They're both run from Edinburgh, for a start. They both cost similar amounts (about £25 a month) and they both have a similar selection of beers. What I can say though, is that they are both GOOD services.
You can choose from a Dark selection, a Light selection, or a mix of the two. I've been Dark for months, so decided to try a Light box this month. How will that go down? Well, I plan to write some reviews, which I'll post in the coming days, so we'll see.
Flavourly has also recently introduced its Bottle Shop, where you can pick and choose from a selection of beers (and gin and whisky) and have them delivered straight to your door. I haven't used it yet, but the selection looks decent - some stuff I haven't seen before - and the prices aren't too bad. Some of these beers are limited run, so expect to pay a little more than you would in the shops.
Whether or not one of these subs is for you is open to interpretation. I like the idea of getting beer delivered to my door. I like that I don't know what I'm getting until I open the package (I know this isn't ideal for some people). The price - as I said, £25 - seems alright to me. 10 bottles/cans of craft beer for £2.50 a go seems alright to me. Personally I think its good value for money, but then I can spent a daft amount on beer. Knowing that I'll be receiving a box of the good stuff every month tends to reign my spending in a bit.
SHAMELESS PLUG: And if anyone's interested in signing up, if you use my signup code - ANDREWRWX - you'll get a fiver off you're first box. You can cancel anytime too, so you're not tied into a contract or anything like that.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm in no way affilliated with Flavourly or Beer52. I pay a monthly subscription like every other mug, er, customer. Although, if either service - or any of the other fine beer-by- mail services - want to send me beers for free, then I will grudgingly accept.